Extraordinary involvement

May 21, 2024

Dr Bruce Standen AM retired from the Crawford Fund’s NSW Committee at the end of May – the Crawford Fund family wish Bruce happy times ahead with ‘real’ retirement.

We reported on Bruce standing down as inaugural coordinator of our NSW Committee in 2014, after serving for 13 years. He has since had another 11 years as a committee member so has served the Fund for 24 years. Before joining the Fund, Bruce had an illustrious career touching many key Australian rural industries. While not an exhaustive listing, he had been the final managing director of the AMLC; deputy chairman of Ocean Watch Australia; independent director of Sydney Fish Markets;  associate consultant at AgEconPlus Consulting; chairman of the University of New England Foundation; president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, and chair of the International Livestock Resources and Information Centre.

In 2016, Bruce was appointed a member in the general division of the order of Australia (AM) for service to primary industry, particularly to agricultural economics, sustainability and research.

Dr Helen Scott-Orr AM PSM, who followed Bruce as coordinator of the NSW Committee, noted that Bruce always provided a strategic focus for Crawford Fund investments in training, mentoring and NextGen work and was dedicated to its purpose. She also recalls fondly that in 2011, Bruce made arrangements for a self-funded visit by a number of the NSW CF Committee members to Crawford Fund and ACIAR-funded projects in north Vietnam and Laos.

“He revelled in seeing the practical farm work being influenced by Crawford Fund projects which were helping smallholder farmers make connections with markets and increase their returns from better quality produce and more efficient rotations,” recalled Helen.

Bruce served on the NSW Committee with chairs The Hon John Kerin AO, the Hon John Anderson AC and more recently with Dr Richard Sheldrake AM. To mark Bruce’s extraordinary service to the Crawford Fund and in particular to its NSW Committee, Richard penned the following to Bruce on his retirement, voicing sentiments felt by the general Crawford Fund family:

Dear Bruce,

The NSW Committee of Crawford Fund met last week and noted your decision to step down after so many years of generously giving to the organisation.

Your thirteen year role as the NSW Convenor followed by a similar period as a NSW Committee member is incredible, and your contribution over that period has been significant in helping shape The Crawford Fund; ensuring the Fund delivered tangible and practical outcomes to the relevant communities.

There is no doubt that your long-term leadership roles with the meat industry, the fishing industry and your many other roles you have taken on placed you in good stead to assist the Fund, but particularly it was your sharp intellect and strategic focus which, both the NSW Committee and the broader organisation, really benefited from over that quarter of a century.

On behalf of the NSW Committee of the Crawford Fund, and all your Crawford Fund colleagues and friends around Australia, please let me thank you for generously giving to the organisation over your extraordinary period of involvement.

Best wishes and kind regards,


Dr Richard Sheldrake AM FTSE
NSW Committee, The Crawford Fund